News / Africa

South Africa Government Counts its Successes as Elections Loom

Supporters of President Jacob Zuma's ruling African National Congress await the start of a march to the headquarters of the opposition Democratic Alliance in Cape Town, South Africa, Feb. 5, 2014.
Supporters of President Jacob Zuma's ruling African National Congress await the start of a march to the headquarters of the opposition Democratic Alliance in Cape Town, South Africa, Feb. 5, 2014.
The 2014 national elections in South Africa, set for May 7, come as the country celebrates the 20th anniversary of democracy, with the black majority African National Congress - ANC at the helm. The ruling party hopes to continue in power by showing what it has achieved in 20 years. 

The 2014 national elections in South Africa promise to be the most contested in a long time.

In the run-up to the vote, protesters, largely from impoverished townships, are accusing the ruling African National Congress (ANC) led government of failing to deliver basic services such as housing, water and electricity.

However, the ANC-led government, which has been in power since overthrowing the apartheid regime in 1994, said it has produced a long list of achievements in its 20 years at the helm.

The party claimed it has built over 3.3 million houses benefiting 16 million South Africans. It said it has also rolled out social grants to millions living in poverty.

Although the rate of unemployment still stands above 25 percent, in a country with a total of 51.8 million people, the ANC government said in the past 20 years employment increased by 3.5 million jobs while the economy has expanded by 83 percent.

On the health front, the government said its fight against HIV and AIDS has been successful, while access to education has also increased for millions.

Ambassador Lindiwe Zulu, International Relations Advisor in the South African Presidency and senior member of the ANC National Executive Committee, said the ANC government’s achievements were envied by many African countries.

“We have a story to tell on what we have done in the past 20 years and I think that people need to judge us on what we have been able to do,” said Zulu.

However, Andile Mgxitama, a Black Consciousness Movement Organizer and now a member of the newly formed Economic Freedom Fighters party, accuseed the ANC government of delivering substandard services and said millions of people were yet to enjoy the fruits of freedom. He argued that corruption and bad policy choices were largely responsible for the country’s failures.

South Africa President Jacob Zuma himself had hundreds of corruption charges against him dropped and is currently engulfed in a storm over use of state funds in building his private home.

“The ANC, which is the leading party in power, bought themselves into whiteness and joined the privileged section of the society which is white, and abandoned the black majority, increasingly undermining the public sphere because you have been able to buy yourself out of it,” said Mgxitama.

On the contrary, Dr Siphamandla Zondi, Director at the Institute for Global Dialogue, a political research institute, argued that it was being unrealistic to think that the extent of damage caused by the colonial system in South Africa could be repaired in 20 years.

“It was almost 400 years of distortion that could never have been, even with the best of leadership, you would never achieve, not in 20 years,” said Zondi.

Political analysts said the ruling ANC would win the elections this year, but not without a stiff challenge from the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters party, formed by the expelled ANC Youth League President Julius Malema.

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Comment Sorting
by: Anonymous
February 08, 2014 5:05 AM
This happen everywhere to make election compelity, nevertheles just keep on doing what you think will pleased the majority and promote peace and development to keep Africa a peaceful state. One love Mr. President.

by: Kayode. Adekunle. Oladeji from: Ibadan, Nigeria
February 07, 2014 10:29 AM
Yes, all Elections should be keenly contested but i think ANC will still win come May 2014.

by: Loophole from: Johannesburg
February 07, 2014 10:23 AM
No context in this peice. No reference whatsoever to the corruption engulfing the state organs or the collapse of education, healthcare and the police service. No comment from any opposition-aligned commentators. Mgxitama is on the extreme fringe for instance, taking his ideology from Black Consciousness whose party, the PAC, now gets less than one percent of the vote. The whole mass middle class, of all races, and their issues with a failing state ignored. Perhaps your writer ignored them because they are white, mixed race, and Asian as well as black, and not black only. Propaganda by omittance.

by: Disenchanted SouthAfrican from: Expat
February 07, 2014 9:58 AM
Only a fool and the misinformed would believe anything the ANC say. They are rife with corruption, lack of service delivery, and have no control over one of the worst violent crime rates in the world. There are frequent attacks on foreign businesses and xenophobia is rampant, the aged are murdered in their homes, a life is not even valued at the price of a mobile phone, reverse racism is passed into law. Two wrongs do not a right make, stop blaming apartheid, its over 20 years down the road, and the problems are from current bad governance, not from the past.
In Response

by: Residing South African from: Cape Town
February 07, 2014 2:38 PM
I didn' run away, still in South Africa, however, I agree, whoever believe anything about the ANC is mad. It is the anc that put this once awesome country on the road of destruction. Our economy tumbled, joblessness increased to such an extend that it is totally unmanageable. Fraud and corruption is on the order of the day, example, zuma's Nkandla, $20.5mil stolen from the taxpayers. Cheating with matrix results leaving the impression that they did good. The president got 783 charges of fraud against his name. Do you want to read more?

This country need a proper, honest and clean government, like the DA, Democratic Alliance. The rule in the Western Cape, with great success, and the anc hate it, because they only want to steal end destroy. Good example of the deterioration, South Africa was for many years the strongest economy and military force on the African continent. Now we haven't even got a defence force, 70% of the people in the "army" is NOT fit as soldiers. No equipment is in a working order, the blacks smashes training aircraft, the navy is non existant, 2 very expensive subs stand unused because of a lack of skills to operate it and one is damaged. The entire state department is broke, the pensionfund of the state is broke. But South Africa is "booming" What a lot of bullshit

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